Happy Memorial Day,everybody!
The curse of the Edmonton Oilers may soon be disappearing more and more with the hiring of the venerable former head coach of the San Jose Sharks,Todd McLellan. He was introduced as the Oilers’ new head coach in a press conference Wednesday. He left San Jose as the team’s all-time winningest coach despite not reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.
McLellan is coming off of coaching Team Canada to a gold medal at the IIHF World Championships, a team that current Oilers Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle were apart of. Oiler fans are hoping he can be the guy to lead this team out of the cellar in the Western Conference and into a respectable NHL franchise again. The playoffs,however,may be in the distant future.
“There will be painful days ahead for all of us. But your gut tells you that it’s right,” McLellan said.
This team has a clean slate now. Gone are Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish and in are new GM Peter Chiarelli and now McLellan. Also in is the chance to draft Connor McDavid and to see what he can do to help this franchise thrive once more. I’m glad he’s here and my friends who are Sharks fans say that I’ll be pleased with the effort he and his team puts out there.
I do want to say one thing about Todd Nelson. He did a nice job in the interim in the circumstances he was under. I think he’s a good coach who will land on his feet somewhere and do a great job wherever he lands.
Brandon Belt has picked a great time to be out of a slump after going 1-13 from May 12-14,striking out eight times. In the tail end of the previous road trip, Belt had three home runs and drove in seven. His Cincinnati surge lifted his batting average to .321.
“It happens. It’s always happened to me,” Belt said. “Even when I was in the minors I’d have a couple days that were just not that good, but I think the important part is that I’m able to figure it out.”
On Friday in Denver, he put the exclamation point on how well he has been swinging the bat by crushing a home run 475 feet into the third deck at Coors Field, the longest home run there since 2004.
Hopefully Belt can keep a good thing going. I think he is a very good hitter even though at times it seems like he swings and misses at everything.
Even though the next NBA All-Star Game isn’t until another nine months over in Toronto, I do feel like it’s time the league put more of their All-Star games in cities like Toronto who have yet to host the game.
Four NBA cities have never hosted the game and they are all in small markets. Two cities, Memphis and Oklahoma City are relatively new markets for the league while the other two,Portland and Sacramento have been established for several decades. All of these cities have pretty good fanbases who,in my mind,deserve to host the game.
I mean,how many times do cities like New York,Los Angeles,New Orleans,and Houston get to host it before Sacramento gets the chance? Shit,Las Vegas got to host one and there isn’t even a single professional sports team there (Thanks,Joe and Gavin!). I get that the issues of hotel space have plagued the chances of these cities from getting to host the game, but I think that will change soon enough in Sacramento once the new arena gets built (at least I hope it does).
In any case, let’s give these small markets a chance to host the game.